Configuring vCenter for email with SMTP authentication

06/02/2011

vCenter allows you to configure Alarms to send email if required. Before vCenter can send it’s first email, go in the menu, choose Administration and vCenter Server Settings. Select the Mail section. In this section you can enter the name of the SMTP server (that will relay the email) and in Sender Account, the name of the account used to send email.

In my homelab, I did like to send email to my Gmail account. It would also be nice to use smtp.gmail.com as a mail-relay. Gmail demands authentication, unfortunately, at this moment it is not possible to configure SMTP authentication with vCenter. This is confirmed in VMware KB 1004070.

There are some options, run your own Microsoft Exchange server, or install a Linux VM and run Postfix. This is my homelab, I want a simple solution, and I do not want vCenter to be dependent on all kinds of other VMs that run database- or SMTP servers. For this reason, MS SQL is installed on the vCenter server and it would be nice to send email directly from vCenter.

So it is time to add some extra functionality, in this case: hMailServer. hMailServer is a free and easy to configure email server for Microsoft Windows, it also runs on Windows Server 2008 R2.

Here is a tutorial how to install, configure, test and troubleshoot hMailServer with vCenter.

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